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Dr. Becky Chen - Multilingualism and Literacy Lab
Dr. Becky Chen - Multilingualism and Literacy Lab

Note: Student names are listed alphabetically by surname.

Doctoral Students




Redab is in her final year of doctoral studies in the Developmental Psychology and Education program. Her research focuses on the language and literacy development of bilingual children, specifically, the development of discourse skills (conversation, narrative, expository) in bilingual Arabic-speaking children, and their contributions to reading comprehension. Her thesis focuses on the development of language and literacy skills of newly arrived Syrian refugee children, as well as explore the effects of cognitive and social-emotional factors on refugee children’s literacy performance. She obtained her master in English linguistics by examining the acquisition of some aspects of the English morphological and morphophonemic awareness by bilingual Arabic speaking students. She holds an ECE and has a teaching experience with school-aged children.




Diana is a second year student in the Developmental Psychology and Education doctoral program. Her current research focuses on assessing at-risk learners in French as a Second Language (FSL) programs using dynamic assessment methods. Diana is a certified teacher in French (Immersion, Extended and Core), English and Special Education (OCT#680228). She also has experience working with the exceptionality community, especially in the field of dual diagnosis. Diana is highly passionate about the intersection of FSL (French as a Second Language), Exceptionalities and Mental Health as a marginalized population. She obtained her Master of Arts in the same program by studying the Cross-Language Transfer of Syntactic Awareness in French Immersion Students. She previously obtained her International Bachelor of Arts in French Studies and English Studies at Glendon College (York University) as well as her teaching degree. 



HUO, Michelle 


Michelle is a second year doctoral student in the Developmental Psychology and Education program. Her Master’s thesis examined the development and cross-language transfer of English reading skills in adolescent late sequential bilingual Chinese-English readers, who are recent immigrants to Canada. Her current research focuses on developing dynamic assessment tools for early identification of at-risk reading status in emerging bilingual children.


KRENCA, Klaudia



Klaudia is in her final year of her doctoral studies in Developmental Psychology and Education. Klaudia’s comprehensive project investigated children’s ability to build phonologically specific words as an indicator of children’s literacy learning potential at the beginning of a French immersion program. Her dissertation examines within- and cross-language literacy development of English language learners and English first language children enrolled in an early French immersion program. Specifically, Klaudia’s work examines several higher-level skills that may be related to poor reading comprehension (i.e., the ability to generate inferences, vocabulary depth, and comprehension monitoring skills). Outside of academia, Klaudia enjoys traveling, fitness, being outdoors, and spending time with family and friends.  




Janani is a final year doctoral candidate in the Developmental Psychology and Education program. She is a graduate of the Child Study and Education Master of Arts program, where she obtained her qualifications as a teacher while completing her research thesis. She has an academic background in psychology and linguistics. Her current research focuses on exploring within- and across-language associations of discourse (narrative and expository) skills, as well as the contributions of narrative competence on literacy outcomes in emerging bilinguals. Janani is also investigating the experiences of children with disabilities who are enrolled in French Immersion programs.

When Janani is not working on any of the above, she loves to spend time with her daughter and her three dogs. She is also an avid animal rights activist and works with various organizations to improve the welfare of animals all over the world.


RAYMOND, Krystina



Krystina is a first year doctoral student in the Developmental Psychology and Education program. She graduated from Concordia University with a MA in Child Studies. Her Master’s thesis examined the strategies used by second language learners, of French and English, to complete an orthographic processing task and its relationship to word reading. She received her certification in early childhood and special needs education. By merging her passion for research in early literacy and the right to equality in education, she taught English as a second language in a global project focused on quality education and sustainable development in Ahmedabad, India. Krystina continues to be devoted to issues supporting bilingual education and multicultural children in schools.






Sharry is a third-year Doctoral student in the School and Clinical Child Psychology (SCCP) Program. She received her MA in the SCCP program in 2017. Her MA thesis examined the ability of emergent readers in French immersion to learn the spellings and meanings  of novel words during shared storybook reading, and the relation between these learning abilities and word reading skills in English and French. Her current research is focused on the early identification of children at-risk for reading difficulties in early French immersion programs, as well as the relation between reading difficulties and social-emotional functioning.  



SOHAIL, Juwairia

Juwairia Juwairia is a fourth-year Doctoral student in the School and Clinical Child Psychology program. She joined the Lab in September 2013 as a Master's student and completed her MA thesis under the supervision of Dr. Becky Chen. Presently, Juwairia's PhD dissertation examines the role of metalinguistic skills in the language and literacy acquisition of multilingual children. Specifically, she is researching how morphological awareness influences reading comprehension in French immersion students, both within and across their languages. The overall goal of her research is to inform educational practices and policies geared towards the language and literacy development of students from diverse linguistic backgrounds.

Master's Students



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